World-renowned architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, and Greek Orthodox Church officials celebrated the historic reopening of the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. It was the only religious structure destroyed on 9/11. Spanish-born Santiago Calatrava was tasked with redesigning the building entirely, creating a space that directly addresses the traditional Greek Orthodox liturgy while honoring the Church’s connection to the greater World Trade Center Memorial site. Calatrava’s design for St. Nicholas Church was heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture and landmarks, specifically a mosaic in Hagia Sophia, the Virgin Mary as the “Throne of Wisdom.” In a series of watercolors, Santiago Calatrava symbolizes a metamorphosis from that mosaic into the facade of St. Nicholas. The Hagia Sophia-inspired dome features 40 windows and 40 ‘ribs’— the same number of ribs inside Saint Nicholas, which are visible from both the interior and the external subdivision of the roof. The dome features twenty prophets whose images alternate between the dome ribs. The architectural elements incorporated into the structure are based on an in-depth study of the relationship between Byzantine architecture and numbers. The entire exterior of the structure was intentionally made of Pentelic marble to parallel the Pentelic marble that makes up the Parthenon in Athens. The dome is made of thin stone and glass laminated panels that are illuminated from behind. When illuminated, these areas of the façade create an incandescent aura that makes the entire church appear to glow from within, invoking the feeling of being a beacon of hope amid the night. The exterior of the church consists of four solid stone-clad towers that ultimately form a square shape, which hosts the dome-like building. The corner towers and two west-facing towers are clad in alternating large and small horizontal bands of white and gray marble reminiscent of the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, Turkey. The St. Nicholas Church is the second completed structure at the World Trade Center campus to be designed by Santiago Calatrava; the first is the World Trade Center Transportation Hub.